Lip color review: Shades from Stila, Honest, and Ilia that look similar but are different

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Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Kristen

I tend to purchase the same general shade of lip products over and over—usually a pinky (or purply) nude shade—and I’m always telling myself oh my god you already have almost exactly that do you really need another one and then I buy it anyway. Almost being the operative word. 

So I decided to compare a few of them and see if they really are each a little bit different and useful for different occasions—which yes of course they are, check out my Instagram review below. I’m not anywhere close to being a makeup expert, but I do believe that makeup is and should be fun, no matter your age. And while I hardly ever wear a full face of makeup—what Gen X woman has time?—I do enjoy experimenting with products. 

Today I bring you a review of three of my favorite lip products which at first glance look pretty similar, but as you’ll see in my review they are all actually very different—and it kind of took this review for me to realize that myself. Each one holds a special place in my makeup bag. 

Honest beauty liquid lipstick in Forever
Photo via Honest Beauty

Honest Beauty Liquid Lipstick in Forever ($15)

This lip product is one of those that you’ll turn to again and again. I would call it a lipstick and gloss hybrid. I love this color, but it comes in seven others, from red to nude (pink is sadly sold out). It feels velvety on the lips, is vegan, and contains avocado oil and hyaluronic acid to keep your lips soft and supple. 

Stila lip and eye paint
Phot via Stila

Semi-Gloss Lip & Eye Paint in Michelangelo ($10, down from $24)

As you’ll see in my review, I was shocked to discover that this product was also an eye paint. That’s what happens when you actually wear your reading glasses. I love the bright pop of color, and for a gloss, it has amazing color saturation. And how fun is it that you can put it on your eyes too? It’s a bit tacky when you first apply, but it dries down and it didn’t bother me (I’m with her, perfection is dull and a few eyelid creases never hurt anyone). This price is pretty crazy, and it seems they’re retiring this product. So if you like it, get on it! 

ILIA Balmy Gloss Tinted Lip Oil
Photo via Ilia

Ilia Balmy Gloss Tinted Lip Oil in Maybe Violet ($26)

I’m a bit biased towards this one because I am in love with Ilia as a brand, in particular their Tinted Skin Serum with SPF 40. I wear it every single day, whether I’m going out to dinner or to the grocery store. I’ve tried several other lip oils, and the saturation of color in this one is the best I’ve seen. It’s pinkish and really brightens up your face, plus hydrates and leaves a lovely sheen.   

Also check out this 3-piece set of full-size Ilia products, including the tinted serum and lip gloss/oil, plus a concealer, for $83—purchased individually this bundle would cost $106.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my makeup bag, and I hope it inspired you to indulge in the joy of a little lip color!

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